Lions land first hoop signee

George Ivory went into the offseason with five seniors from his 2012-13 Arkansas-Pine Bluff men’s basketball team he had to replace.

He went into familiar territory to land his first member of the 2013 signing class.

Ghiovanni Robinson of Itta Bena, Miss., where Ivory played college ball at Mississippi Valley State, signed a letter of intent with the Golden Lions on Thursday. Robinson is a 6-foot-3 guard who posted big numbers this past season at Leflore County High School.

“He was the point guard on offense and the center on defense,” Ivory said. “They didn’t have many players around him, so he did more.”

Robinson averaged 23 points, eight rebounds, five steals, two blocks and 10 assists per game.

With his signing, the Golden Lions, who went 16-14 last season, quickly addressed a need in the backcourt with the loss of three-point and defensive specialist Lazabian Jackson, a senior. Ivory thinks Robinson can make a quick impact in the backcourt, helping out rising junior Tevin Hammond.

UAPB also is expected to have Greenwood, Miss., freshman guard Trent Jeffries come off a redshirt year.

Ivory said he’s still committed to landing a mix of junior-college and high school recruits, and he’ll focus on landing some post players to fill a void left by senior All-SWAC first team senior Terrell Kennedy. Daniel Broughton, a junior this past season, is the only returning post man on the Lions for 2013-14.